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The Red Shoes - Criterion Collection (1948)

Moira Shearer , Marius Goring , Michael Powell , Emeric Pressburger  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Moira Shearer, Marius Goring, Anton Walbrook, Robert Helpmann, Leonide Massine
  • Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: May 18, 1999
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000IPHT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,836 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Red Shoes - Criterion Collection" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Jeremy Irons reads excerpts from Powell and Pressburger's novelization of "The Red Shoes" and the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale
  • Martin Scorsese's collection of "Red Shoes" memorabilia
  • Publicity and behind-the-scenes production stills
  • The Red Shoes Sketches: animated film of Hein Heckroth's painted storyboards, with a comparison to "The Red Shoes" ballet
  • Powell and Pressburger filmography, including film clips and stills

Editorial Reviews

Remarkable for its seamless combination of dance and storytelling, "The Red Shoes" is a fairy tale with a moral, an exquisite revelation of ballet both as inspiration and destruction. Spectacularly choreographed by Robert Helpmann, starring Moira Shearer and Anton Walbrook. 1948; 2 hours 13 min.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
114 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The dangerous power of art May 2, 2000
Many of Powell and Pressburger's films explore the life of the artist and the power of the artistic imagination. In THE RED SHOES and PEEPING TOM, most notably, the writer-directors reveal the sacrifices that art sometimes demands from its acolytes.
Balletophiles often praise THE RED SHOES, but one need not be a fan of ballet to be amazed by the film's emotional power and extraordinary staging. On the Criterion DVD, the saturated reds that represent the artist's blood sacrifice, and the cool aqua-blues that represent the (false) promise of life and romance outside of art, appear with unmatched vividness. Powell is a master of color, and has influenced a generation of filmmakers (through the advocacy of his admirer Martin Scorcese) with his theories about how color and music contribute to the thematic impact of a film.
Anton Walbrook, who plays the impressario Lermontov in THE RED SHOES, is one of Powell and Pressburger's favorite actors, appearing to stunning effect in THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP as well. Moira Shearer, the actress/dancer who plays the lead, made her reputation on THE RED SHOES. She also dances in one segment of the rarely-seen Powell/Pressburger masterpiece THE TALES OF HOFFMAN.
The Criterion DVD has the beautiful sound and picture we've come to expect from the Voyager Company. Interesting disc features include: an audio track of Jeremy Irons reading from the original Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, the complete text of Powell and Pressburger's novelization of the movie, an extensive collection of Scorcese's memorabilia, and a comparison of the Red Shoes Ballet with the filmed storyboard sketches the directors used as a guide. One wonderful addition for Powell and Pressburger fans is their filmography -- brief descriptions with cast lists and dates for all their films, most of which also have film clips included. It's a chance to see scenes from some of the long-lost works in their catalogue.
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92 of 96 people found the following review helpful
I've seen the original film of "The Red Shoes" a number of times over the years and just loved it. The story, ballet, music, color, actors, and the whole production are superb!
Later I acquired the RCA SelectaVision CED video disc edition (two parts) in the early 1980s. The CED issue unfortunately was prone to frame skipping, occasionally syncopating the ballet sequences. Still later, I obtained the Paramount VHS hi-fi release (1987). There was no frame skipping with the VHS tape, but the tops of all the frames tended to be somewhat bent and fluttery. Alas, I found no remedies for these problems.
Without question, this DVD release is the best of the lot, technically. And, I liked the additional background material contributed to this DVD edition. The DVD has great color with clear, well focused images. The only deficiency, in my opinion, is the movie sound track which sounds dated (1947), however it's on par or better than the forementioned VHS release.
Overall, I would class this DVD movie as one I would have to take, along with others, to a desert island on which I subsequently became marooned.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolutely Magnificent Movie January 27, 2005
This is a magnificent movie, one of the most voluptuous ever filmed (in Technicolor), one of the most influential, and one of the most satisfyingly melodramatic. Every bit of it works. At the most simplistic, it's a fairy tale, Hans Christian Andersen's The Red Shoes, that takes place in a ballet, which is repeated in real life.

At the heart of the movie is Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook), the imperious impresario of The Ballet Lermontov. He can be cold, charming, ruthless. At a party he says, "If some fat harriden is going to sing, I must go. I can't stand amateurs." He's enigmatic except for his dedication to ballet. At that same party he meets Victoria Page (Moira Shearer), a young ballet dancer, and is intrigued by her.
"Why do you want to dance?" he asks her.
"Why do you want to live?"
"I don't know exactly why, but I must," he says.
"That's my answer, too."

He brings her into his ballet company and also hires Julian Craster, a young composer. Later, with three weeks to create a ballet, he has Craster compose the music to the story of The Red Shoes. Victoria Page will dance it. It is a triumph, but Page leaves the Ballet Lermontov to marry Craster. Lermontov is outraged and swears he'll never see her again. She needs to dance, though, and Lermontov slowly realizes he wants her back, completely dedicated to dancing, because he can make her a great dancer. He subtly woos her back to dance the ballet again, with tragic results.

The ballet of the red shoes is the story of a young girl, engaged to be married who loves to dance and longs to go the village fair. She spies a pair of red dancing shoes in the window of a shoemaker. Despite the reluctance of her fiance, she dons the shoes and begins to dance. She has a joyous time.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shearer shines and dances with the red shoes March 25, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
The Red Shoes was one of the best ventures by The Archers, the joint production company by Briton Michael Powell and Hungarian emigre to Britain Emeric Pressburger, considered to be the definitive film marrying ballet and cinema.
The story of the Red Shoes by Hans Christian Andersen forms the basis for the story of aspiring dancer Victoria Page, aspiring composer Julian Crasster, and ballet company impresario Boris Lermontov, who takes on the latter two under his wing. Crasster's involvement begins when portions of his work Hearts Of Fire is appropriated in a ballet, and he's given the job of orchestra coach, when he confronts Lermontov. Page comes to the attention of the maestro when the latter snubs an offer by the girl's aristocratic aunt to see her dance. To the Russian, ballet is more than poetry and motion, but his religion, and hence, not an audition. He tries her out at a separate audition, where she makes the final cut.
Lermonotov decides to stage his next ballet based on Andersen's tale, with Victoria as the principle (Victoria Principle? just kidding) and Crassner as the composer. The ballet is a hit, for Lermontov and the whole film, as it's the highlight of the entire movie, with Victoria's flaming red hair a marked contrast to her pale skin and outfit, the ruby red shoes forming a near-symmetry, as they are on her toes. The choreography as well as the music is masterful. Despite Lermonotov and Crassner's insistence that "the music is all that matters," for us the film viewer, it's also the colours and dancing that do as well. Indeed, though the cinematography missed an Oscar, the score and art-direction/set decoration did not.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It has some interesting interconnections between artistic expression...
This is one of those extremely important films that in many ways is more important in terms of how it fits into Hollywood's musicals than in itself, though many women who saw it... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Harry E. Eiss
5.0 out of 5 stars B/W movie except for the shoes
Very unusual movie!
Published 1 month ago by E. Lowndes
2.0 out of 5 stars por dos veces compre la pelicula que la anunciam con ...
por dos veces compre la pelicula que la anunciam con subtitulos en edpañol incluso la pz.gue la segumda bez mjcho mas cara y no tiene tal traduccion
Published 1 month ago by perfecto j castaneda
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most beatuiful films ever made
This film is without a doubt one of the most beatyifil fims ever made. The dancing is fabulous, costuming sectacular, story line very good and the acting was also excellent. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Granny H
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie
It's a beautiful story with a sad ending but once you've seen it you will never forget it.
Published 3 months ago by Karen T
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Red Shoes
Gave as a gift to a friend who loves this movie and she says it was wonderful.
Published 3 months ago by Noreen L. Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful dancing and acting.
This is great movie. Filmed beautifully and made when actors had to sing, dance and act. I really enjoyed the colors. The story is well done. So happy I found it on Amazon.
Published 3 months ago by Siggie Z.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Piece of Work
I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this movie. This was my first experience with the multi-talented Moira Shearer and I must say I was very impressed. Kudos to all involved. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Laidze
1.0 out of 5 stars Red Shoes DVD
Can get a beautiful picture, however; no sound. Tried in different players, same results. Also plays, stops, skips so don't get the silent movie effect either.
Published 4 months ago by Joan Antonucci
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing all around.
The movie itself is an amazing story, beautifully done and amazing to watch. The product in general was in perfect condition and the picture of the movie was incredibly brilliant.
Published 4 months ago by C. Jones
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Topic From this Discussion
blue ray or dvd? recommendations please! thank you!
The blu-ray (if you have a blu-ray player) .the colors are simply brilliant in blu-ray!
Jan 5, 2012 by Tigerrr |  See all 4 posts
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